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{bio,medical} informatics

Monday, July 17, 2000

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BBC News Celera plans next step
"Craig Venter, head of Celera Genomics which last month completed the map of the human genome, has outlined his next goal.

Speaking at a conference he said his new task was to map the proteins which drive all chemical reactions in the body."

""A big part of the business is the straightforward providing of information, but I'm not complacent just to do that," Venter said."
Wired Gene War Heating Up Again
"Academic researchers and private companies are continuing their tug of war over the human genome map. This time the fight centers around who has the best system for delivering cloned genes for research.

""The Human Genome Project provides information, but it's only terabytes of information in computers, not the physical DNA," said Joshua LaBaer, an instructor of medicine and director of the Harvard Institute for Proteomics. "You can't do an experiment on it. All you can do is look up information."

Harvard researchers and several private companies have begun competing to build the best gene clone warehouses.

Celera, the company that last month announced it had completed a map of the human genome, said Wednesday it has joined with Life Technologies, a biotechnology tool company, to create its own bank of cloned genes and their complete chemical sequences."

"Whether the projects will succeed comes down to money for both Celera and Harvard. Celera needs to make it. Harvard needs to acquire it in the form of funding, which it hopes to get partly from the National Institutes of Health.

But McPherson doubts it can be a big moneymaker.

"Celera's current business plan seems to be to produce resources similar to those that are freely available," he said. "I don't see how they can do that profitably.""

redux [06.29.00]
Yahoo! News Celera to Shift Focus to Patentable Discoveries
"A day after Monday's announcement that it had sequenced the entire human genome, Celera Genomics said on Tuesday that it will turn its attention to other, potentially more profitable, endeavors.

"Speaking to investors during a conference call, Tony L. White, chairman of the PE Corporation, Celera's parent company, said that "all of the energy'' of the genomics unit will be directed toward discovery efforts "that are subject to intellectual property protection.''"

"The move toward discovery efforts represents "a shift from what we've been doing,'' White acknowledged. "Our focus from the formation of the company 2 years ago was to build a significant bioinformatics presence,'' he said, "but we have the money to pursue a much more grandiose strategy now and we intend to do that.''"

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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